Rusty Nail Recipe

A vintage cocktail that's all about the Scotch.

rusty nail cocktail

Serious Eats / Liz Voltz

Perhaps this 50-50 combination of Scotch and Drambuie reminds you of your grandfather's poker nights. Or perhaps your grandmother drank them between Camels. Nevertheless, you probably think of the Rusty Nail as an old person's drink, a quaff too musty even for Mad Men.

It doesn't have to be this way. Drinks with these two ingredients date to the 1930s under a variety of names as David Wondrich recounted for Esquire: the B.I.F., the D & S, the Little Club No. 1. No one knows where or when "Rusty Nail" originated, but by the 1960s, the name had stuck.

Though the modern version calls for equal parts, earlier versions were drier, calling for substantially more Scotch. This is where you'll start. David Wondrich suggests 2 ounces Scotch to 1/2 ounce Drambuie, a 4:1 ratio. That's what I like, too. Want to add a dash of Angostura in there? Trust me, it won't hurt a thing.

Recipe Facts

3.5

(2)

Active: 2 mins
Total: 2 mins
Serves: 1 serving

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Ingredients

  • 2 ounces blended Scotch, such as Famous Grouse

  • 1/2 ounce Drambuie

  • 1 dash of Angostura bitters (optional)

Directions

  1. Fill a rocks glass with ice. Add Scotch, Drambuie, and bitters (if using). Stir thoroughly and serve.

    mixing a rusty nail cocktail

    Serious Eats / Liz Voltz

Nutrition Facts (per serving)
197 Calories
0g Fat
8g Carbs
0g Protein
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Nutrition Facts
Servings: 1
Amount per serving
Calories 197
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 0g 0%
Saturated Fat 0g 0%
Cholesterol 0mg 0%
Sodium 1mg 0%
Total Carbohydrate 8g 3%
Dietary Fiber 0g 0%
Total Sugars 7g
Protein 0g
Vitamin C 0mg 0%
Calcium 0mg 0%
Iron 0mg 0%
Potassium 6mg 0%
*The % Daily Value (DV) tells you how much a nutrient in a food serving contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calories a day is used for general nutrition advice.
(Nutrition information is calculated using an ingredient database and should be considered an estimate.)